ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman said Wednesday morning she will endorse Del. Steve Schuh in the Nov. 4 general election.
Neuman, a Republican appointed county executive in February 2013, lost Tuesday’s primary to Schuh by 2,770 votes. GOP voters endorsed Schuh by a margin of 54.4 percent.
Schuh will face Democrat George Johnson, a former county sheriff, in the general election.
“I want to thank the over 14,000 Anne Arundel Republicans who voted for me to continue leading the county. My administration has accomplished many things in just 16 months, and it was my hope to have the opportunity to serve our community,” Neuman said in her statement.
Neuman said her administration restored pride to Anne Arundel County and helped change the culture of county government after for County Executive John R. Leopold resigned when he was convicted of official misconduct.
“We have also helped instill the Republican values of fiscal conservatism, transparency and personal accountability to our county government,” she said. “What has been most moving to me is that so many people came out to support me who had never been involved in politics before, yet enthusiastically dedicated their time to advance Anne Arundel.”
She commended Schuh for his dedication to his campaign and to the county, and said he has her “full support.”
Schuh said while greeting voters at the polls Tuesday that it’s always a challenge to try to unseat an incumbent—particularly an appointed one.
Still, he was surprised by how close the results were.
“Our models showed it was going to be a lot tighter,” Schuh said at his election party at the Greene Turtle in Pasadena.
Dan Nataf, a professor of political science at Anne Arundel Community College and director of its Center for the Study of Local Issues, said Wednesday he was a little surprised Neuman didn’t win.
“With low turnout and Republican ultra-partisans most likely to vote, it seems the ‘I'm the real Republican’ vote was ultimately won by Schuh,” Nataf said. “In any case, Schuh emerges with a pretty solid victory, although certainly not a commanding one. His task will be to try to pull the Republican Party back together again after such a divisive primary-- we'll see how engaged Neuman becomes in supporting Schuh.
County Republicans have planned a unity party Thursday at the Columbian Center in Severna Park as an opportunity to come together following a hard-fought primary race, Schuh said.
Johnson released a statement early Wednesday, saying he looks forward to competing against Schuh in the general election.
“The primary campaign run showed voters that he is a resolutely right-of-center conservative Republican —a fact underscored by the endorsements he received from some the state’s most conservative Republican leaders,” Johnson said. “It’s time to move this county forward and strengthen our infrastructure, give our teachers and public safety officers the tools and support they need to do their jobs. We need to create more job opportunities and use our resources more wisely and I’m the person who can do that.”
Anne Arundel County Council
The 2014 primary featured five contested races for Anne Arundel County Council, and Councilman Dick Ladd, a Severna Park Republican, was the only incumbent to lose his seat in the primary.
That race, in District 5, was the most crowded one of all the council races, and it’s also the one that’s likely still undecided.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Michael Anthony Peroutka was leading Maureen Carr-York by 36 votes in the Republican primary, before any absentee and provisional ballots have been counted. Ladd finished in third place ahead of Joseph Campbell and Jack Norman Wilson Sr.
The winner of the Republican primary will face Democrat Patrick Armstrong in November. Armstrong garnered nearly 65 percent of the vote to defeat David Whitney.
In District 2, Andy Werner will face Republican incumbent John Grasso in the fall after beating Derick D. Young in the Democratic primary.
In District 3, incumbent Derek Fink, a Pasadena Republican, easily beat challengers Bob Legge and Millard T. Snowden, Sr. with about 73 percent of the vote. He’ll face a challenge from Democrat Theresa Belinda Martin in the general election.
In District 4, Anne Arundel school board member Andrew Pruski will run against Republican Chik Anyanwu for the council seat vacated by Democrat Jamie Benoit, who is barred from running again due to term limits. Pruski beat out two challengers, Scott Hymes and Devin Tucker.
In District 7, incumbent Republican Jerry Walker fended off a challenge from Michelle Corkadel, his opponent from four years ago. There is no Democrat running for that seat, so Walker will presumably hold onto his seat for the next four years.
The primary races in Districts 1 and 6 were uncontested. In November, former councilman Pete Smith, a Democrat, will try for his old seat,